“You must not act unjustly when deciding a case. Do not be partial to the poor or give preference to the rich; judge your neighbor fairly.” (Leviticus 19:15)
“Do not show favoritism to a poor person in his lawsuit.” (Exodus 23:3)
Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan; Front row (left to right): John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Lycurgus of Sparta, and Associate Justice Margaret Sanger.
In her first answer of the night, Hillary Clinton was asked about the Supreme Court. She said justices should stand up to the rich and side with the people or some such treacle. It should support the usual favored groups, etc. It should fight big money and the powerful. And so on. Only problem: That’s not what justices are supposed to do. The Judicial Oath goes like this:
“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
Sometimes they say:
“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
The relevant point is the same. Standing up to the rich is not the Supreme Court’s job. Standing up for the law is. And, sometimes, the law is on the side of the rich and powerful. You could look it up.
The Book of Leviticus in the Bible was probably the first recording of laws concerning public health. The Hebrew people were told to practice personal hygiene by washing and keeping clean. They were also instructed to bury their waste material away from their campsites, to isolate those who were sick, and to burn soiled dressings. They were prohibited from eating animals that had died of natural causes. The procedure for killing an animal was clearly described, and the edible parts were designated.
Gwendolyn R.W. Burton and Paul G. Engelkirk, Microbiology for the Health Sciences, 6th Edition (New York, NY: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000), 9.